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Chinese curling team with Canadian connection exploring Toronto and Niagara - Canadian Tourism Commission's Connecting with Canadians program

Toronto, ON, Sept. 10, 2009 – WHOOOA! The world champion Chinese women’s curling team has swept into Toronto.

Bingyu Wang and her team, including Canadian coach Dan Raphael, are in Toronto to connect with Canadians and get to know more of Canada before the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, where they hope to challenge for gold.

Through the Connecting with Canadians program, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and its tourism partners are sending elite international athletes and their families to Canada. The families and athletes have the chance to meet locals, have adventures and make memories before the competitors return to make Olympic and Paralympic history. The CTC will share their experiences with key media markets to inspire the world to travel to Canada.

After finishing second to Canada at the world championships in 2008, Wang’s team went all the way in 2009, beating Sweden for gold. Wang started curling only eight years ago, before China even had a real curling rink. Raphael has been with both the women’s and men’s Chinese national teams since 2007.

“We’re excited to have curling’s world champions travelling in Canada,” said Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the CTC. “They have become big stars and having them here helps spread our tourism message to their fans in China and around the world.”

“Toronto is a city of sports enthusiasts, fans and athletes where you’ll find a keen pulse of passion for sport and celebration,” said David Whitaker, president and CEO of Tourism Toronto. “We are honoured and thrilled to welcome the Chinese women’s curling team to Toronto as our entire nation helps celebrate the Olympic spirit”.

About the CTC
The CTC is Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For daily updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.

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For further information, please contact:
Jitka Licenik
Corporate Communications Advisor / Conseillère en communications
Canadian Tourism Commission / Commission canadienne du tourisme
Tel/ Tél 604 638-2482
Fax/ Téléc 604 638-8438
licenik [dot] jitka [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca
www.mediacentre.canada.travel